The AgriRover : a reinvented mechatronic platform from space robotics for precision farming

Yan, Xiu Tian and Bianco, Alessandro and Niu, Cong and Palazzetti, Roberto and Henry, Gwenole and Li, Youhua and Tubby, Wayne and Kisdi, Aron and Irshad, Rain and Sanders, Stephen and Scott, Robin (2019) The AgriRover : a reinvented mechatronic platform from space robotics for precision farming. In: Reinventing Mechatronics. Springer, Switzerland. ISBN 9783030291310 (In Press)

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    Abstract

    This paper presents an investigation of a novel development of a multi-functional mobile platform for agriculture applications. This is achieved through a reinven-tion process of a mechatronic design by spinning off space robotic technologies in terrestrial applications in the AgriRover project. The AgriRover prototype is the first of its kind in exploiting and applying space robotic technologies in precision farming. To optimize energy consumption of the mobile platform, a new dynamic total cost of transport algorithm is proposed and validated. An autonomous navi-gation system has been developed to enable the AgriRover to operate safely in unstructured farming environments. An object recognition algorithm specific to agriculture- has been investigated and implemented. A novel soil sample collect-ing mechanism has been designed and prototyped for on-board and in-situ soil quality measurement. The design of the whole system has benefited from the use of a mechatronic design process known as the Tiv model through which a plane-tary exploration rover is reinvented into the AgriRover for agricultural applica-tions. The AgriRover system has gone through three sets of field trials in the UK and some of these results are reported.